Rockford Spine Center’s Dr. Michael Roh recently attended the Scoliosis Research Society Meeting & Course 2017, which took place in Philadelphia.
The event serves as the premier international meeting for scoliosis surgeons. Roh is an active member of the organization and a former cabinet member and committee co-chair.
Roh said a highlight of the event was a presentation about approaching scoliosis surgery differently, specifically by fusing fewer spinal disc levels than have been traditionally recommended. Roh also learned about new and innovative ways to decrease blood loss for patients during long and complex surgeries.
Many of the standards related to scoliosis surgery were developed by Dr. Lawrence Lenke, professor of orthopedic surgery at Columbia University Medical Center and surgeon-in-chief at The Spine Hospital at NewYork-Presbyterian/Allen. Lenke is a mentor of Roh’s, having worked with him during his fellowship in spine surgery at Washington University in St. Louis. Lenke created the standards for fusion work related to adolescent scoliosis, and he spoke at the SRS meeting.
Recent research has shown success in fusing only the thoracic region of the spine for certain sets of adolescent patients with scoliosis. Previous research showed that fusing the thoracic and lower lumbar regions of children and teenagers often presented problems later in adulthood – typically in the form of more surgeries.
“It was quite compelling when [Lenke] got up to the podium and showed the results of this new research,” Roh noted. “The research was compelling, particularly hearing it from the person who set the dogma of levels to fuse.”